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Should Businesses Fear Social Media Engagement?

– Contributed content –

9 August 2017. The world is a harsh place, but the digital world can seem more so. Here everyone has a voice, and it can be loud enough to be heard all around the globe. If someone wants to post something unpleasant or negative about your business, chances are hundreds of people will see it. That gives every user of social media the chance to become a voice of authority. Where one moans, others will follow, right?

Not necessarily. Many businesses avoid a presence on social media because they don’t know how to handle the few voices that can whip up a storm. However, this might be a mistake. Sure, ignoring the trolls is often a good strategy. But if you aren’t aware of what is being said at all, how can you protect your business reputation? Can you address your customer’s needs should they have genuine problems?

Phone user

(Pexels.com)

Social media is also live twenty-four hours per day. If you do step foot onto the platform, you’re opening your customer service or sales doors at all times. This isn’t always practical for a small company. What you need is an outsourced service provision that manages all of your online communities on your behalf. According to www.ignitedigital.com/, this can feed your sales funnels, address customer inquiries as they come in, and support your brand strategy at the same time.

What is an online community? This is the space you create to engage your customers. The people that participate could be anywhere in your sales funnel. They choose to engage with your brand because you have something they are interested in. This might start out as information such as advice.

What do you use this engagement for? Ultimately, you’re investing in building relationships with customers to make sales. Of course, these days, customers want more for their money. And they have far more choice, so they will only part with their cash if they have researched you and developed trust in your brand. That is why you are engaging customers – to build trusting relationships without the hard sales push.

Colorful phone screen

(Fancycrave, Pexels.com)

Can it all go horribly wrong? Yes, easily. If your strategy and engagement policy is not clearly defined, your brand voice cannot be consistent. You should also use metrics daily to identify any potential problems. This will also help you identify things that are working, and could offer leads for future campaigns.

What’s the strategy? Head to your FAQs page on your website. Make sure it is complete. Most of the problems customers will ask about on social media can probably be answered here. Ensure all the resources for product support are posted here. Give your online customer service representatives every tool they need to answer every query a customer might have.

Coping with ‘trolls’ requires a clear head and an ability to take nothing personally. Each person working on your social media community must adopt a single persona – that of your brand. They represent that, so nothing must be posted that can harm it. Disengage if the conversation brings nothing of benefit to either party. The simplest strategy is to invite disgruntled customers to a private chat where you can attempt to resolve their problem live. Does your company use social media to its full potential?

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